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RocketMom
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26 Sep 2014, 11:30 am

Redirection is a tactic most parents use for toddlers/preschoolers, but I think I am realizing that redirecting little people on the spectrum is a bit more difficult. Finally having realized what behaviors are "stimming" I have stopped attempting to stop those unless he gets too physical around his baby brother (so I move one of them if I can). But for behaviors outside of stims how do you redirect? Once stuck on a behavior he is tenacious and very hard to distract - for instance, rough and persistant play with his baby brother who gets hurt/upset by the rough play (my son headbutts and rolls on people to try to play). I try to direct the play to other things, since I think a lot is sensory seeking? He also gets stuck repeating songs or sounds and can't stop. While I can usually handle it there are times its not appropriate (like while his brother is sleeping). Any tips?



ASDMommyASDKid
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26 Sep 2014, 12:03 pm

Does he get OT? For sensory seeking behavior, you need to find something that gives him the same kind of sensory feedback as the behavior you want to phase out. An OT might be able to help with that.



RocketMom
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26 Sep 2014, 3:46 pm

We have an evaluation me Monday and hope to get the ball rolling with some OT very soon.



setai
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29 Sep 2014, 3:25 pm

Develop a bag/box/area of sensory toys and activities that are just for when you need to redirect. Bubbles, squishy toys, tops, whatever he really is into. You might have to rotate a lot, to keep them fun and new. It worked for us. He might also need some more sensory activities like trampoline, big squeezes or enclosed spaces(forts) if he seeking rough play from your other child as a sensory need. We are teaching our guy to ask for squeezes which has helped on using us as jungle gyms and wrestling mates.



RocketMom
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29 Sep 2014, 7:18 pm

Thanks Setai! That sounds like a good idea. We have some things for him to work with but he gets board fast and I should switch them out more. I also have a hard time predicting what textures will be okay for play mediums to keep the rotation fresh. I need to find some new activities and fidget type things.

I am hoping an OT can help me figure out what sort of input he is seeking. So far, the things I have tried tend to make him more excited and out of control and not help much...it's like he craves pressure and touch but not from someone doing it to him...if that makes sense. I'm wondering if a beanbag chair to push into would work? Maybe two so he can smoosh between them?



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30 Sep 2014, 11:54 pm

Setai's idea sounds really great. And yes, the OT will help sort out what he craves.

What you say regarding pressure makes complete sense to me. I would describe what I need in similar terms, but perhaps I can find the language to describe how your son might experience this phenomenon.

I have current problematic issues in this area, but I remember as a child when this type of thing was overwhelming (overwhelming isn't even a big enough word). Since you are a mom, perhaps you can relate to this sentiment--the physiological response takes precedence over your thoughts and actions about as much as giving birth. So, imagine crowning *and* obeying orders that aren't important to you. It can be that big sometimes.

So, now that we've established a possible scale, that's how much my mind and body were aware of being touched with skin-to-skin contact as a child. And it was literally painful. However--and this is sad--I *wanted* to be touched. I knew I needed it, but I could not handle it at all. My mother dealt with this (without help from anyone, because she couldn't get help) by telling me that she would give me 8 hugs each day. Eventually I could handle it, and I didn't pull away anymore. I knew I would get 8 squeezes everyday from my mother. I wanted to be squeezed, but my brain couldn't process the skin contact.

Eventually, I could handle more touch--but I still do have an immediate overwhelming physiological response to it. (My husband is a very patient man.) Clearly, I reproduced, so I've come a long way.

My mother didn't have the tools we have now, but you can! A bean bag chair is a great idea. If squeezing is what he craves, tight clothing, weighted blankets or vests, or games where there is a barrier between the squeezing and another person may be helpful (such as: boy on the ground--I recommend being on his side because more pressure goes to the joints this way and it feels good, couch cushion on top of boy, a heavy kid on top of couch cushion). I used to like it as a kid when my dad would joke sit on me. I wanted him to bear all of his weight (and he was quite heavy).

The need for touch and what it does for the body doesn't go away if a child cannot process some aspect of it. It just grows and becomes more unbearable with time unless specifically addressed.




On redirection, I would further empower you to make your best plan, being thoughtful with it, and then follow-through when he is not easily redirected. (i.e. If your plan is to redirect him to the sensory area of the room when he rough-houses with brother but he doesn't stop trying to rough-house with brother, wordlessly bring him to the sensory area and walk away. If--when--he tries to leave, bring him back. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Eat chocolate at nap time. Give yourself some wine and a bath later. Give both of you permission for him to be upset at this process. It's upsetting that he can't rough-house with brother. It doesn't mean he gets to. )

Remembering my birth analogy, it is certainly best to "go with the flow" of the one who is doing the birthing. But, what if she is in the road about to be hit by a semi. She is understandably not paying attention to that part of her environment...it then becomes someone else's job to move her anyway.

I hope I made sense.


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setai
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03 Oct 2014, 4:29 pm

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That is a really great explanation for the need for pressure. We are really blessed my guy enjoys physical touch so he can seek it out from us. It must have been so hard for you to need it but not be able to tolerate it and so hard for your Mom not to be able to give it to you when you did need it. It is amazing how really great parents figured out sensory issues before anyone knew about them.



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05 Oct 2014, 10:13 am

RocketMom: it seems to me that your son may already be able to focus on pictures drawings.

First of all, I would treat him respectfully as a equal-rights human being. This is kind of important. Please do not just issue commands, or use a term like "redirection." Address the issue at core, and treat him as an equal. Avoid all temptations at manipulation. Instead, view the issue as a communication problem.

Here is what we do at home. Get (a) a magnetic doodling board, the large-sized ones (about the size of a printer paper), (b) get some 4x6 (inch) blank index cards, and cheap plastic mini-photo albums of the same size. (c) painter's masking tape and printer paper, so you can draw pictures and glue them to the wall.

Draw pictures for your son. Do picture-aided talking with your son. Children with autism are visual. Until you have communicated your message visually to them through pictures, I would not assume that your verbal or physical messages have been communicated to them...

In the worst case, time out is an OK consequence for bad behaviors. BUT, please communicate this point to them through pictures as well. Basically, draw pictures and tell him: if you do this, then, time out. (Basically, picture of a stick figure sitting on a stool.)

The technique works for both of my children. Sometimes they slammed the doors really hard, sometimes they pushed each other, sometimes my son liked to hang on the bathroom towel bar (which does not have the strength to hold his weight and may break).

In the case of the bathoom towel bar, I drew a picture and glued it to the wall right next to the towel bar.

Simple drawings like that, go a long way. (a) It conveys your messages visually to the child, (b) it teaches the child to read, (c) it brings you much closer to your child, establishing good bonding, hence reducing future tantrums.

Picture communication makes your child happy and smart. You solve the communication problem, and everything else will fall in place.

(Stimming is a different issue.)

regards,

Jason

[youtube]http://youtu.be/WDJFzMfofkc[/youtube]


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eikonabridge
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05 Oct 2014, 10:18 am

Somehow the YouTube tag does not work... here is the link:
http://youtu.be/WDJFzMfofkc



RocketMom
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06 Oct 2014, 8:24 pm

Screen_name - thank you so much. Your analogy is perfect. Not that you could have known, but I'm a "birth nerd" and have aspirations to be a midwife. The birth analogy works for me very well. :)

Elkonabridge - I do treat him as equal, I really do. We give choices whenever possible and practice attachment parenting and strive to use positive reinforcement far more than things like time out. But at the moment nothing is working for him to stop behaviors that are harmful to himself and others. It worries me.

We do have a visual schedule and it seems to help on the daily routine and keeping on track but so far no help with behaviors. :/



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13 Oct 2014, 6:35 pm

RocketMom, go midwifery! (One of my kids was born using a midwife (in a cabin in the woods...), the other was supposed to, but was born in our car instead. :) Good luck with your studies!

re: children as equals. I disagree, but I don't have enough brain processing power at my disposal to properly make my case. But, there are flaws with that system. I'm not for simply adopting an old style, I'm for moving forward...beyond that. Have natural authority.


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So you know who just said that:
I am female, I am married
I have two children (one AS and one NT)
I have been diagnosed with Aspergers and MERLD
I have significant chronic medical conditions as well


momsparky
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14 Oct 2014, 1:34 pm

I feel your pain - when DS was a baby, we tried the NT version of redirection - put him in another room, give him a different toy - but when he sets his mind to something, that something does not leave his mind. Period.

What we've found works that I think is mentioned here but not explicitly: figure out what the need is and offer alternative ways of meeting it; redirect to those. So, if it's a need for pressure or sensory input, weighted blankets or vests or bean bag chairs may help. For crashing needs, a place with pillows, a trampoline, etc.

He may also be trying to socialize with the baby, so explicitly teach him how - you can tell him and model it, or use doodles/pictograms and then model it. "When we want to play with baby, we sit criss-cross applesauce (or on his knees or however you can get him to sit in a slightly contained way) and we hand a toy to him. If he doesn't want the toy, we put it down next to us" Then do that (or whatever you want to model) to show him how.

It may also be a need for attention - old-fashioned sibling rivalry turned up a notch with the deficits inherent in autism. You may need to use a social story to explain that everybody needs Mommy sometimes, and Mommy will give you attention when it's your turn.

There are some really good social stories here that you may be able to adapt: http://www.thewatsoninstitute.org/teach ... 6415747290

Also, maybe a modified version of this book or of Pat The Bunny might help him understand appropriate touch with a baby? You'll have to explain that babies need gentle touch as well as animals: http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/booknook/bn_patgently.pdf



RocketMom
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15 Oct 2014, 1:21 am

Great great suggestions. Thanks for the links. I have been searching for good social stories.